So you'd like to...

give an awesome baby shower gift!

A guide by Oregon Farm Mama (Northwestern Oregon, United States)

Products sampled from this guide:
So, it's time for a baby shower. Most likely, the mom-to-be will receive some predictable things: onesies, cotton receiving blankets, cute baby 'outfits,' best-selling board books (Goodnight Moon or Very Hungry Caterpillar), and possibly a few other things she requested on her registry.

All of these are somewhat useful, but most moms-to-be end up with too many predictable SOMEWHAT useful things and not enough TRULY USEFUL AWESOME things. I think non-parents stick to what's familiar and cute, and parents of older children sometimes just plain forget what was ESSENTIAL when they had a baby in the house. So, if you want to offer a stand-out gift, here are some ideas for unique and super useful gifts ...


Practical baby clothing

Sure, those outfits are cute. And they might get put on baby once or twice for photos, but baby needs everyday clothes too -- lots of them, since babies spit up, pee, etc. The most practical clothes for babies are soft, cotton garments that are easy to put on and take off. Look for items that snap at the crotch and have 'lap' neck holes: onesies, t-shirts, full-body sleepers, soft pants. Avoid anything complicated or too stiff for a small baby (overalls, baby jeans, shirts with lots of decoration). My favorite items for our son were from quality clothing from Carter's, Zutano, and American Apparel -- they were all well designed, cute and colorful, easy to use and washed up well. Here are some suggested items:

* American Apparel Infant Baby Rib Long Sleeve Gown
* American Apparel Unisex-baby Rib Long Sleeve One Piece
* American Apparel Unisex-baby Rib Long Sleeve Lap T-Shirt
* American Apparel Infant Baby Rib Karate Pants
* Carters 22 Piece Essentials Gift Set, Yellow
* Carter's Fall Boys 3 Piece Monkey Pant Set
* Carter's Fall Girls Floral Stripe Sleep n Play
* Zutano Print Coverall
* Zutano Onzie, 3 Pack


Fun toys for baby

Newborns won't care much for toys, but soon enough baby will want some fun things to hold in his hands (and Mom will want some safe things to give to him when that happens). Here are some fun first toys for baby:

* Manhattan Toy Skwish Classic Rattle and Teether Grasping Activity Toy
* green sprouts Teether Keys
* green sprouts Stacking Cup Set, Colors may vary
* Silicone Teether - 3 Ring - By Zoli
* Mini Tinkle Crinkle 8 inch - Primary Colors
* Manhattan Toy Whoozit Activity Spiral Stroller and Travel Activity Toy
* green sprouts Infinity Teether Rattle


Great books about babies

First-time moms and dads will especially appreciate the thoughtful gift of a reference guide that they can check at 3 am and the baby just isn't sleeping! What is normal? What can I do? Our go to guide when our son was young was The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two (Revised and Updated Edition). We also were so grateful to have read The Happiest Baby on the Block, which gave a lot of great advice for soothing a baby to sleep.


Thoughtful baby gear

There are many things a mom-to-be knows she will need (car seat, for example), but as a first-time mom there were things I didn't realize I'd need until someone gave them to me. Most notably, a Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe Microfleece, Small, Ivory. I thought I'd be able to swaddle my baby in a blanket, but it turns out he was too wriggly for that! The SwaddleMe saved us -- swaddling our son gained extra hours of sleep every night, and we were so grateful to have received it! Another thoughtful sleep related gift: Graco Sweet Slumber Sound Machine, White.

Other gear we received and loved: an ERGObaby Organic Baby Carrier, Dark Chocolate and ERGObaby Infant Insert (we used these ALL the time!). We also received a Moby Wrap Organic 100% Cotton Baby Carrier, Eggplant.


Gifts for the nursing mom

If mom is planning to nurse, you might consider giving her some things to help with that, such as a nursing pillow. I recommend the My Brest Friend Deluxe Pillow, Light Green! Or, give her some washable cotton breast pads that she can reuse (such as Philips AVENT Washable Nursing Pads, 6-Count or Medela 100% Cotton Washable Nursing Bra Pads). Or, give her a pretty new mug and some nursing tea to drink (Traditional Medicinals Organic Mother's Milk, 16-Count Boxes, .99 Ounce (Pack of 6)). Also useful: a water bottle with a straw (Nathan Stainless Steel 700 mL Flip Straw Bottle)! Or, even give her some snacks she can pull out when hunger strikes her and baby at the same time! Oats are great for building milk supply, so how about some healthy oat bars (Bobo's Oat Bars All Natural, Chocolate, 3-Ounce Packages (Pack of 12)). And, don't forget some soothing salve for those tender nipples (Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter, 2-Ounce Jar)!


Thoughtful items for the post-partum mom

Especially for the first-time mom, life changes completely after having the baby! It's easy to lose focus on herself in this time of change, but she will need some attention too -- her body will be recovering from birth; she may be learning how to nurse; she will have less time to herself than she ever imagined; and she will be renegotiating her relationship with her partner. Consider giving mom-to-be some thoughtful gifts that are JUST for mom and especially suited to helping her get through this transition in her life.

How about some bath salts for soaking her sore perineum in the immediate post-partum period (try New Mama Tush Soothing Bath 32 Ounces or Postpartum Bath Herbs 4 Ounces). Or, perhaps some cloth post partum pads (such as Menstrual Color Cotton Pads - 3 - Pack (Color Varies)) that she can keep using once she's back on her cycle. Or, perhaps some nursing mom friendly lubricant for helping rekindle intimacy with her partner (Passion Natural Personal Lubricant Paraben Free, Glycerin Free Lube 2.2oz is highly recommended). Or, perhaps a pretty journal that she can use for documenting her first weeks/months as a mom (or maybe just to jot notes as she tries to reorganize her life). Or, how about several of these items wrapped in a beautiful scarf as wrapping -- because a scarf fits all body types, even as our bodies continue to change after birth!


And, don't forget to ask mom-to-be what she wants and needs too!

Products mentioned include:
1.  Goodnight Moon  by Margaret Wise Brown
$10.16 Used & New from: $0.01
4.6 out of 5 stars   (1,542) | 5 customer discussions
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
2.  Very Hungry Caterpillar  by Eric Carle
Used & New from: $5.76
4.3 out of 5 stars   (20)
  See buying options  Add to wishlist
Practical baby clothing
3.  American Apparel Infant Baby Rib Long Sleeve Gown  by American Apparel
$10.40
3.8 out of 5 stars   (12)
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4.  American Apparel Unisex-baby Rib Long Sleeve One Piece  by American Apparel
$6.00 - $10.40
4.4 out of 5 stars   (17)
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5.  American Apparel Unisex-baby Rib Long Sleeve Lap T-Shirt  by American Apparel
$6.00 - $8.80
4.7 out of 5 stars   (28)
  See buying options  Add to wishlist
6.  American Apparel Infant Baby Rib Karate Pants  by American Apparel
$6.00 - $9.60
4.1 out of 5 stars   (25)
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7.  Carters 22 Piece Essentials Gift Set, Yellow  by Carter's
Out of stock
4.5 out of 5 stars   (13)
  Add to wishlist
8.  Carter's Fall Boys 3 Piece Monkey Pant Set  by Carter's
Out of stock
  See buying options  Add to wishlist
9.  Carter's Fall Girls Floral Stripe Sleep n Play  by Carter's
Out of stock
3.0 out of 5 stars   (2)
  See buying options  Add to wishlist
10.  Zutano Print Coverall  by Zutano
Out of stock
4.0 out of 5 stars   (1)
  See buying options  Add to wishlist
11.  Zutano Onzie, 3 Pack  by Zutano
Out of stock
  See buying options  Add to wishlist
Fun toys for baby
12.  Manhattan Toy Skwish Classic Rattle and Teether Grasping Activity Toy  by Manhattan Toy
$14.24 Used & New from: $8.00
4.4 out of 5 stars   (251)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
13.  green sprouts Teether Keys  by GREEN SPROUTS
$6.95
4.3 out of 5 stars   (63)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
14.  green sprouts Stacking Cup Set, Colors may vary  by GREEN SPROUTS
$8.98 Used & New from: $6.99
4.6 out of 5 stars   (278)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
15.  Silicone Teether - 3 Ring - By Zoli  by ZoLi
$6.28 Used & New from: $4.99
3.2 out of 5 stars   (8)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
16.  Mini Tinkle Crinkle 8 inch - Primary Colors  by Gund
$6.67 Used & New from: $2.95
3.9 out of 5 stars   (40)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
17.  Manhattan Toy Whoozit Activity Spiral Stroller and Travel Activity Toy  by Manhattan Toy
$19.24 Used & New from: $14.95
3.8 out of 5 stars   (61)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
18.  green sprouts Infinity Teether Rattle  by GREEN SPROUTS
$12.61 Used & New from: $5.00
4.2 out of 5 stars   (35)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
Great books about babies
19.  The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two (Revised and Updated Edition)  by Martha Sears
Used & New from: $0.01
4.3 out of 5 stars   (634) | 1 customer discussion
  See buying options  Add to wishlist
20.  The Happiest Baby on the Block  by Harvey Karp
$11.78 Used & New from: $0.01
4.5 out of 5 stars   (1,570) | 5 customer discussions
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Thoughtful baby gear
21.  Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe Microfleece, Small, Ivory  by Kiddopotamus
$9.04 Used & New from: $6.04
4.2 out of 5 stars   (358)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
22.  Graco Sweet Slumber Sound Machine, White  by Graco
$29.98
4.1 out of 5 stars   (648)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
23.  ERGObaby Organic Baby Carrier, Dark Chocolate  by ERGObaby
$135.95 Used & New from: $135.00
4.8 out of 5 stars   (88)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
24.  ERGObaby Infant Insert  by ERGObaby
$27.69 Used & New from: $19.00
3.7 out of 5 stars   (211)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
25.  Moby Wrap Organic 100% Cotton Baby Carrier, Eggplant  by Moby Wrap
$59.95 Used & New from: $54.99
4.1 out of 5 stars   (51)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
Gifts for the nursing mom
26.  My Brest Friend Deluxe Pillow, Light Green  by Zenoff Products
$38.96 Used & New from: $29.99
4.4 out of 5 stars   (215)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
27.  Philips AVENT Washable Nursing Pads, 6-Count  by Philips Avent
$6.99
3.2 out of 5 stars   (352)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
28.  Medela 100% Cotton Washable Nursing Bra Pads  by Medela
$6.27 Used & New from: $4.00
3.0 out of 5 stars   (78)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
29.  Traditional Medicinals Organic Mother's Milk, 16-Count Boxes, .99 Ounce (Pack of 6)  by Traditional Medicinals
$21.54 Used & New from: $20.95
4.3 out of 5 stars   (646)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
30.  Nathan Stainless Steel 700 mL Flip Straw Bottle  by Nathan Performance Gear
$47.57
3.9 out of 5 stars   (184)
  See buying options  Add to wishlist
31.  Bobo's Oat Bars All Natural, Chocolate, 3-Ounce Packages (Pack of 12)  by Bobo's Oat Bars
$31.98 Used & New from: $29.55
4.3 out of 5 stars   (14)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
32.  Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter, 2-Ounce Jar  by Earth Mama Angel Baby
$8.99 Used & New from: $4.00
4.4 out of 5 stars   (457)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
Thoughtful items for the post-partum mom
33.  New Mama Tush Soothing Bath 32 Ounces  by Well-In-Hand
$34.82 Used & New from: $25.27
4.6 out of 5 stars   (12)
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34.  Postpartum Bath Herbs 4 Ounces  by Earth Mama Angel Baby
Out of stock
4.3 out of 5 stars   (3)
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35.  Menstrual Color Cotton Pads - 3 - Pack (Color Varies)  by Glad Rags
$21.98 Used & New from: $19.95
4.0 out of 5 stars   (104)
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36.  Passion Natural Personal Lubricant Paraben Free, Glycerin Free Lube 2.2oz  by SLIPPY LLC
Out of stock
4.0 out of 5 stars   (26)
  Add to wishlist

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Customer Discussions about products in this guide
Discussion Replies Latest Post
Goodnight, Moon question 2 Aug 21, 2014
Does Harvey Karp recommend putting baby to bed asleep or awake? 1 Apr 12, 2014
is the wrapping anything special? 1 Dec 8, 2013
Baby books 2 Aug 19, 2013
Welcome to the Goodnight Moon forum 5 Jun 19, 2013
HELP! Looking for Book Suggestions to Read a Class of 3-yr-olds? 20 Oct 29, 2012
distant grandchildren 5 Jun 4, 2011
Welcome to the The Baby Book forum 3 Sep 17, 2009
Swaddling my 10 month old 2 Jul 18, 2009
Has this book INSPIRED YOU? 1 Feb 14, 2009
Welcome to the Happiest Baby on the Block forum 0 Nov 9, 2005
 
   

About this Guide

 

Author

Oregon Farm Mama (Northwestern Oregon, United States)
Qualifications: First-time mom
Last updated: 1/26/11
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